When the breeding season rolls around it can be an exciting time of the year. However, always in the back of many a bird breeder’s mind is the worrying thought “I hope my best pairs don’t throw their young out the nest!” There’s not much that can make a day start worse than going to check on your birds and finding your most anticipated nest empty of chicks, and the cage floor littered with the little guys. Worse still is when you find some of those chicks are stone cold and void of life. After my own fair share of disappointment and heartbreak over the years, I devised the “Safe Pairing Identification guide”, or S.P.I guide for short.

The S.P.I guide has helped me to improve the odds of matching up my most prized birds in order to safeguard their genetics via successful breeding. I have designed the S.P.I guide with a number of key problem factors for chick pitching in mind, these factors are recognised throughout the Gouldian breeding world. I have also added my experience of key problem factors to this guide from my years of personal trials and tribulations in breeding the Gouldian finch. There are some breeders who would much rather keep their success with breeding certain species of bird a closely guarded secret, which they would rather take with them to the grave. Although this is there entitlement, I’m more of the mind that knowledge should be shared and built upon, so that we can then create a better all-round experience and sense of achievement for ourselves and other bird lovers. Heartache and disappointment with failed attempts to improve breeding survival rates is not something I wish upon anyone’s bird room.

The S.P.I guide is an easy to use point based system that I use for pairing up my birds and for risk assessing the likely hood they will chick toss. I recommend anyone to give it a go and I hope you benefit from the S.P.I guide as much as I have.

Take the questionnaire

All you have to do is answer the following questions as best and as honestly as you can. Note the S.P.I guide is designed for use with Gouldian finches only.

What is the sex of your bird?
Do you know the parentage of your bird?
Was your bird fostered or parent reared?
How many generations do you know your bird has been fostered?
How many generations do you know your bird to be parent reared?
What is the age of your bird?
Has your bird been placed on a 4 week austerity diet, prior to being placed onto a breeding diet?
Has your bird completed a full life cycle in accordance with a breeding, maintenance and austerity diet? Note the bird would have to be at least 12 months old to have completed this.
Has your bird successfully raised its own young before?
How many additional years has your bird raised young?

Click submit to get your results